Combustibles ban confirmed alongside private block powers
THE HOUSING Secretary has banned combustible materials from new high rise buildings, as well as giving ‘extra power’ to local authorities to ‘force through’ cladding replacement.
In a release, the government confirmed the ban that it had announced in the summer on combustible material use in new high rise buildings, with regulations laid out in parliament today that will ‘give legal effect’ to the ban. Combustible materials will not be permitted on external walls of new buildings 18m tall or higher that contain flats, hospitals, residential care premises, boarding school dormitories or student accommodation.
Schools that are over 18m in height and built as part of the government’s centrally delivered build programmes will also not use combustible materials on external walls, while Communities and Housing Secretary James Brokenshire also announced that he was ‘taking action to speed up’ replacement of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding.
On this note, he stated that local authorities ‘will get the government’s full backing’, including financial support ‘if necessary’, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings. The government will recover the costs from building owners, and in turn allow buildings ‘to be made permanently safe without delay’, as it is already fully funding ACM replacement on social housing high rises 18m or higher.
Mr Brokenshire commented: ‘Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders. My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.’